TEL AVIV (Feb. 23)
Israel is preparing for the possible renewal of warfare with Egypt when the present cease-fire extension expires on March 7. Should it occur, most experts agree, Israel’s Air Force would be capable of destroying Egypt’s dense, Soviet-built anti-aircraft defense system. The experts attribute the increased strength of the Israeli air arm to the heavy infusion of American electronic equipment and other sophisticated devices in addition to the deliveries of more U.S. Phantom and Skyhawk jets. The equipment supplied to Israel by the U.S. includes drones and pilot less retrievable aircraft and Shrike missiles. Moreover, the Israelis have had time to assimilate the function of this equipment and train their personnel to operate it, the experts note. They observed that in the event of a new outbreak of war, Israel will employ a strategy of movement in order to end the conflict in the shortest possible time. It will not confine itself to the front chosen by Egypt but will strike at the softest spots of the Egyptian defense. The experts agree however that a new Middle East war would be on a larger scale than any hitherto because of the massive build-up of Egyptian artillery, armor and troop concentrations.